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Over 9,000 pilgrims perform Amaranth Yatra on 12th day

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Over 9,000 pilgrims perform Amaranth Yatra on 12th day

Srinagar, July 13: More than 9,000 pilgrims had ‘Darshan’ of the cave shrine on the 12th day of the Amarnath Yatra, as another batch of 9,241 devotees left Jammu for the Kashmir Valley on Thursday.

The fresh batch of pilgrims left the Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas on Thursday morning in an escorted convoy of 306 vehicles.

“Of thee 9,241 pilgrims, 3,206 are going to the Baltal base camp. while 6,035 are heading to the Pahalgam base camp,” officials said.

Since this year’s Amarnath Yatra started on July 1, 19 pilgrims have died so far of natural causes.

Yatris approach the Himalayan cave shrine either from the traditional Pahalgam route which involves an uphill trek of 43 km or from the north Kashmir Baltal base camp which involves a 13 km uphill trek.

Those using the Pahalgam route take three to four days to reach the cave shrine, while those taking the Baltal route return to the base camp the same day after having ‘Darshan’ inside the cave shrine situated 3,888 metres above the sea-level.

Helicopter services are also available for yatris on the two routes.

The cave shrine houses an ice stalagmite structure that devotees believe symbolises mythical powers of Lord Shiva.

The ice stalagmite structure wanes and waxes with the phases of the moon.

The 62-day long Amarnath Yatra will end on August 31 coinciding with the Shravan Purnima festival.

To protect the pilgrims from high altitude sickness, authorities have banned all junk food at the free community kitchens called the ‘Langars’ those have been set up along both the routes of the Yatra.

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The banned items include all bottled drinks, halwai items, fried foods and tobacco-based products.–(IANS)

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